Did you know that nation-wide, 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger each day? For a wealthy nation, it is eye-opening to realize your neighbor may be one of those who is not sure where their next meal is coming from. National statistics are available at Feeding America.
Feeding America is the largest domestic food relief charity. The Fauquier County Food Bank benefits from their efforts to gain corporate sponsorship through their regional outlet – The Blue Ridge Regional Food Bank. Due to the gifts of major donors including the largest food companies in the United States, we are able to purchase $12 worth of food with each dollar donated to us.
The causes of food insecurity vary. Some causes happen in an instant but the impact lingers. Disasters like fires, floods, and tornadoes or accidents which disable a person can be the cause. Medical conditions can lead to job loss, and therefore, food insecurity. Seniors living on Social Security or other small, fixed incomes often feel the squeeze, particularly as medical needs increase. Naturally, job loss is a significant contributor. Most food bank clients of working age have worked hard and then suffered a life reversal from which they need assistance to recover. Many food bank clients are temporarily in need of assistance, recover their financial life, and go on to become food bank donors. Some need longer term assistance, particularly if they become permanently disabled. Unemployment among the disabled hovers around the 70% mark. Children are impacted at higher rates than the general population. According to Feeding America, 20% or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2009. Food insecurity rates rose sharply with the economic shock of 2007.
According to the USDA, the state of Virginia fares better than most states but still has 9.6% of households rated as “Food Insecure” and an additional 3.3% rated as “Very Low Food Security”.
Here at Fauquier Community Food Bank & Thrift Store, we serve an average of 650 households a month. The need rises and falls, at times we have served as much as 5.6% of the county’s population (October 2011). In 2015, an average of 3,632 individuals a month were supported by the Fauquier Community Food Bank & Thrift Store. This is just over 5.5% of the county’s population of 65,203 people. Our neighbors need us. You can help.